The Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t even reached out to Steven Stamkos to talk about his future with the team. They have no idea what he is willing to do in order to help the team remain competitive or anything like that.
It is a very bizarre situation and it makes you wonder if they are just done with him after this year. However, that might be really bad for Stamkos. Why would he want to play somewhere where he is no longer wanted?
Tampa Bay can claim they want him all they want but they are making their intentions pretty clear. He is going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and he still has a lot left in the tank. If Tampa Bay wanted to retain their long-time captain, they would have by now.
Right now, Stamkos is dealing with a little bit of an injury but he will be back in short order. He is still going to have an elite season as we are used to seeing from Stamkos.
Steven Stamkos already saw Martin St. Louis get treated poorly on his way out of town before a handful of years with the New York Rangers. Now, it might be his turn to be traded ahead of his contract expiration. These three teams could make a trade for him work:
1. New York Rangers
The New York Rangers make sense for a Steven Stamkos trade this year.
The New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning have made a ton of trades over the years. A lot of good players have been swapped back and forth between the two clubs. One of them, the aforementioned Martin St. Louis, was one of them.
If Steven Stamkos went to the New York Rangers, he would probably be a second-line center there. They could also make him a winger and just have a super elite group on the wings of the ice. On the power play, he’d be able to bring his amazing shot to the mix as well.
There is a chance that someone like Stamkos could bring them even more experience which might be what they need. He is a multi-time Stanley Cup champion and has been to the final a couple of other times.
He has gone through the Rangers in the playoffs too so he is very familiar with them. Now, they make sense as a team going for the Stanley Cup right now with only a few years left in their contention window.